We left Sekiu and began the more leisurely part of our trip. The four-hour drive to Astoria, Oregon, took us around nine hours due to several stops and wanders.
But wait. Could it be? Could this be the very monkey tree that attacked our friend Lori?
Look familiar, Lori?
La Push, on the Quileute Nation, was our first stop.
The harbor at La Push.
First Beach, La Push, where I saw my first big stacks (big rocks in the sea).
We saw a most beautiful sign there:
“Generation upon Generation the Salmon have returned to our waters offering themselves
That the Quileute people might live.
There was a time once not long ago salmon were many. Now they are few.
Generation upon Generation
The Salmon have helped the Quileute People.
Now the Quileute People must help The Salmon.”
A salmon even decorates the bus stop in La Push.
As we headed south again, Cinda noticed a sign that simply said “Big Cedar Tree” and of course we had to turn. Four miles later, we met the Grand Dame of the forest, an ancient cedar.
She is a Western Red Cedar and is 178 feet tall and nearly twenty feet in diameter.
Though she is a wonder, the visit left me a bit down. How is it all the rest of these ancient beauties were cut down? She is surrounded by forty-year-old trees that are not even a foot in diameter. How old could the Grand Dame be?
The remains of an ancient cedar.
Then on to Ruby Beach. Another beautiful spot!
But there is a little bad news.
We stopped in South Bend, Washington, which proclaims itself the oyster capital of the world. Big claim, but we did see a number of boats and cages used for oystering, and there were a few processing plants.
Finally, Astoria, where we checked into our motel then dashed out to do laundry. Ooh! Clean clothes!
The beautiful bridge into Astoria from the north.
In the morning we each had an absolutely delicious breakfast panini at Coffee Girl, located in an old cannery building on Pier 39. The building on the pier is from the 1880s. The Coffee Girl breakfast worth the stop, and the cafe has the best view in town.
We also visited the cannery museum located there.
There was a gift shop, too. The oddest I’ve ever seen. Each item had a suggested donation rather than a price, and there was a can near the door in which to drop the donations. No staff. No closed door. Basic trust in human decency.
But the highlight of this stop – other than the fabulous panini – was the incredible sea lion viewing. There were sea lions everywhere! We must have seen at least a hundred, right by Coffee Girl.
We then attempted to visit the Astoria Column, a 125-foot tower commemorating those who settled the area. However, the Column was closed for a three-day minor restoration. We couldn’t even get close because there was roadwork happening, too, and the road up there was closed.
Had to settle for lovely places like this since we couldn’t see the Astoria Column.
So we headed south. We visited Cannon Beach and Seaside, both sweet little beach towns.
We stopped at many an outlook and wandered several beaches, including one that simply pointed to an arch.
We visited a lighthouse and an octopus tree.
We saw harbor seals.
We poked around in tidepools.
The whole trip was under 160 miles, but we managed to be “on the way” for about ten hours. Almost wagon train speed.
We got to our room in Yachats (pronounced YAH hahts), tossed a few things inside, and headed to The Adobe, a lodge/resort with a restaurant on the sea. Perfect ending to a wonderfully wandery day.